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Maybe it’s a ‘who’ question, not what?

By 26 September 2017March 8th, 2018Financial Planning

Maybe it’s a ‘who’ question, not what?

When faced with financial decisions or questions it is often an instinctive reaction to jump straight to trying to figure out what is the correct answer. However, I’d like to suggest that a better approach is to ask yourself “who” rather than “what”. That is, who is the best person that can help me answer this question.

Who to ask

The saying goes that most people learn from their own mistakes; smart people learn of other people’s mistakes and dumb people never learn! Learning from other people’s mistakes is extraordinarily valuable. In this regard, there are two types of people that you can seek out:

  1. Those that have been personally faced with the same problem or question that you are facing – and it is even better if they have faced the problem more than once; or
  2. Those that have helped or advised people in your circumstances and have many years’ experience in doing so. Repetition is the mother of skill. There is no substitution for experience (as Malcolm Gladwell has written about). After 15 years of advising investors (over 30,000 hours of experience), I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. I have seen thousands of different circumstances and witnessed how they have played out. I’ve observed good and bad decision making. All these experiences shape my advice and my clients benefit from these experiences.

Many people are reluctant to ask for help. Don’t be. Build a team around you and make sure you are not the smartest member of that team.

Here’s a list of our experts

We (at ProSolution) surround ourselves with trusted experts to complement our internal expertise and experience. We can call upon these experts at any time to ensure we provide clients with trusted advice. Here are some of examples of our experts:

Lawyers

Different lawyers specialise in different areas. It’s important to pick a lawyer that has the requisite experience, isn’t too expensive and is going to solve more problems than they create (some lawyers aren’t very commercial and it’s as if they ‘look’ for problems).

  • Estate – for wills, power of attorney documentation, trusts and so on.
  • Property – for conveyancing and any property-related matters.
  • Superannuation – super can become complex and the rules are changing regularly so sometimes it’s necessary to get specialist advice.
  • Family – for asset protection (financial agreements) and relationship breakdowns.

Fixed income specialists

A balanced asset allocation would include some exposure to bonds and fixed interest instruments (both domestic and international). It’s important that we maintain up-to-date market knowledge and have experts to call upon when necessary. 

Economists, research analysts, technical analysts, portfolio managers

When investing in equities there are various experts that we need to draw from at various times including economists (to get macro and micro economic forecasts), technical personnel employed by indices and research providers (for independent commentary), portfolio managers and their teams to understand/critique strategies (employed by fund managers) and other experts.  

Property advisors

There are a lot of people in the property industry willing to offer advice but much of it is laden with self-interest and kickbacks. Therefore, you must be very careful who you listen to. We have developed a network of honest, trustworthy and experienced property professionals:

  • Residential buyers’ agents and investment property advisors. It is important to use someone with local knowledge as its near on impossible to be an expert in more than one market.
  • Commercial property advisors. The commercial market is vastly different to the residential market and we have experts we can utilise depending on the type and location of the property.

Tax specialists

We can deal with most tax issues in-house. However, from time to time we come across highly technical issues that require specialist advice. We have deep industry contacts that we can call upon for expert advice.

It’s taken us 15 years to get here

In November 2017 ProSolution will be 15 years old. Over that time, we have built relationships and trust with various experts. We know who to listen to – and who to steer clear of. This is one of the things our clients value when working with us. That is, they know we have spent over a decade building a network of trusted professionals that we can call upon if the need arises.

 

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